EBOLA OUTBREAK LINGERS IN WEST AFRICA

“In West Africa, people who catch Ebola and do not die are called “survivors.” That term could apply just as well to the entire region, and to everyone in it.”  The New Yorker, January 2015

The overwhelming majority of Ebola cases are occurring the original three West African countries Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.  The outbreak in the Congo was unrelated to the outbreak in West Africa.

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  • Each patient admitted to an Ebola clinic remains for an average of 6.4 days
  • Each bed requires 4-5 staff including 1-2 medical professionals
  • WHO estimates the monthly cost of each bed (in sparse concrete structures) is approximately $18,000 (or $9,000 per average patient)
  • Cost does not include the additional cost of providing military support to the affected areas
  • Effectively 100% of the cost must be funded by the international community as the affected countries are simply too impoverished
  • 448 healthcare workers have died from Ebola – 11th February 2015 WHO situation report

 

RISK OF IMPORTATIONS WILL REMAIN UNTIL WEST AFRICA IS FREE FROM EBOLA

“The slums of Freetown are closer to the streets of London than they have ever been” Economist, October 2014

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Screening at airports will not stop importation of cases to developed countries:

Developed countries are well equipped to treat (and isolate) small numbers of imported cases:

 

For a detailed account of the origin of this Ebola crisis see Vanity Fair’s Hell in the Hot Zone.  For the latest data see the New York Times page Ebola Facts: How Many People Have Been Infected in Africa?

 

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